Orgeron talks about strength of team, especially defense, and ongoing COVID-19 fight

Orgeron talks about strength of team, especially defense, and ongoing COVID-19 fight
LSU linebacker Jabril Cox (No. 19) (Source: Brandon Gallego)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU head coach Ed Orgeron had lots of good things to say about the Tiger defense under new coordinator Bo Pelini and several other topics during a Zoom conference with sports journalists on Tuesday, September 15.

Coach O talks about COVID-19, the defense, and more

Orgeron emphasized multiple times that this is an “attacking” defense. Orgeron noted the great speed on defense and described grad transfer linebacker Jabril Cox as one of the best players on the team. He next mentioned that fellow linebacker Damone Clark has been playing well.

He added junior Micah Baskerville from Shreveport will start as the third linebacker. According to Orgeron, the 4-3 defense has helped him by allowing him to run around and make plays. Orgeron described him as athletic and smart. The defense will blitz a lot but also cover well because of the good skill players the Tigers possess, according to Orgeron.

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At least one piece of that defense that was lost over the summer is back and another could be available soon. Neil Farrell, who had opted out in early August after his grandmother contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized, has returned to the team. The senior defensive tackle will start at the bottom of the depth chart, according to Orgeron. He added he has heard “rumblings” of a possible return by fellow defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin, who opted out to reportedly prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Orgeron said he has spoken to some of Shelvin’s family members but not the player himself.

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Myles Brennan was 12-of-18 for 194 yards and two touchdowns in Friday’s scrimmage. He also threw an interception. Orgeron said Brennan worked well on his own during the lockdown and met with receivers to get work done whenever possible. He noted Brennan has been accurate with his throws.

Sophomore wide receiver Trey Palmer from Kentwood had five catches for 79 yards. Terrace Marshall and Jontre Kirklin each had four catches. True freshman tight end Arik Gilbert had three catches for 31 yards, including one for 18 yards. Orgeron said the running backs caught the ball well out of the backfield and Tyrion Davis-Price rushed for 77 yards on six carries.

Orgeron talked about the team’s ongoing fight against COVID-19. When first asked about how the team was faring against the virus, Coach O said three or four guys are currently out because of it. He stated the team is pretty healthy right now and the guys feel good. He said they have a good handle on it but they need everyone to remain vigilant and follow the guidelines.

At one point, Orgeron said “most” of the players have had it and he hopes they don’t catch it again. When asked to clarify how many players have been positive, he stated he didn’t know the percentage and that is wasn’t “all” of the players but “some” of them have caught COVID-19. Orgeron said the staff tells him who has it, who’s in quarantine, and how long they’re out for. He added they need to have backups for those who have caught it.

The first Ed Orgeron Show will air live at 7 p.m. Wednesday at TJ Ribs on South Acadian Thruway in Baton Rouge. It can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including Eagle 98.1 FM. The show can be found on www.LSUsports.net/live, the new LSU Sports Mobile App, and other affiliates on the LSU Sports Radio Network.

Fans are reminded that TJ Ribs will be following all state and local health and safety guidelines on capacity and physical distancing. TJ Ribs will be taking the temperature of guests sitting in the show area and there will also be roped off areas around the set for social distancing, meaning no contact with Coach O, including no photos with him or autographs. There will be no live questions from the audience this year. Questions will be taken via the new LSU Sports Mobile App and on LSUsports.net.

Fans who wish to speak to Coach O are encouraged to call (800) 315-8255 during the show or Tweet @LSUradio.

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